Commerce Ministry commits to container solutions

Commerce Ministry commits to container solutions

The Commerce Ministry has pledged to speed up tackling the container shortage. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The Commerce Ministry has pledged to speed up tackling the container shortage. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Commerce Ministry has pledged to speed up tackling the container shortage and open more border checkpoints to increase trade, aiming to reach the ministry's goal of export growth of 4% this year.

Speaking after the year's first meeting of Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee on Commerce, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) has already agreed to reduce the port fee to 1,000 baht from 1,600 baht for exporters.

The PAT also agreed to permit and facilitate ships measuring 400 metres to enter Laem Chabang deep-sea port to import more empty containers.

The government is promoting empty container imports by offering incentives, he said, but did not provide any details.

Thai exporters through the Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC) proposed on Tuesday the government speed up tackling the container shortage by utilising containers seized by the Customs Department, reduce port charges at key ports to stimulate the import of empty containers to Thailand, and provide aid measures as well as subsidies to exporters and importers of both industrial and agricultural goods that are unable to conduct business because of the container shortage.

The government should permit and facilitate ships measuring 400 metres to enter Laem Chabang deep-sea port and re-examine existing empty containers in Thailand stored in container depots to make the best use of them, proposed the TNSC, whose representatives also attended the Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee on Commerce's meeting on Thursday.

According to Mr Jurin, to reduce dependence on the containers, the ministry also aims to promote and stimulate exports to China via land transport. The government will speed up negotiations with Laos, Vietnam and China to facilitate land transport through the borders.

He said the ministry will try to pursue talks to open more border checkpoints including Pak Saeng at Na Tan district in Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Khan in Loei, and Hai Sok in Nong Khai province.

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